Haloband – Review
The wrist has been drowned in accessories from watches, to health monitor and of course the recent Google Wear devices. A recent addition is the Haloband, this rubber band adorns your wrist and then extends the phones functionality with a simple tap of one of the three chips in the band itself. No longer do you have to unlock to turn on the flashlight, simply tap your wrist against the back of the phone. With the recent addition of Tasker integration, the sky is the limit.
The Haloband comes in 5 different wrist sizes, so you need to make sure you get the right size. According to the company the Haloband is waterproof, I tested this in the shower and get it quite wet, it still appeared to work. I haven’t worked up to fully submerging it. I got the XL size and the fit was good, though I could of gone for a size down. The Haloband is made from surgical-grade silicone so it feels ok on the skin and I forgot it was even there.
The setup was a pain in the beginning, as the app instructs taping the phone to set it up, this took numerous attempts. I then figured out I needed to tap it on the back of the phone and it was setup instantly. The idea for this is very similar to Pressy, but unlike Pressy the whole interaction with the phone feels more lucid.
Having a band over an additional button, means that with practice you can get the right wrist movements to achieve tasks on your phone without ever having to use it, or even turn on the screen.
As the Haloband is still in the pre-order stage, the companion app is still in a “beta” phase. When more people start using it, more functions will be added and any bugs will be squashed. Using the app, the Haloband can be customized by assigning different move sets to various smartphone functions. For example, “Tap A + B” can be set to pause that new track by Black Sabbath, or “Tap A twice” can be set to turn on wifi. With a recent update the app now works with Tasker, which allows for a whole new range of possibilities, and shows that they are heading in the right direction.
Sections A and B are used to control your smartphone, the CloudZone part is intended, to work as a cloud service dedicated to identity authentication and information exchange. This is still being refined and the company will be releasing an API for this soon.
The Haloband needs no battery and by using NFC doesn’t use the battery from your phone. It comes in black, purple, red, yellow, green, blue and white, and in five sizes measuring between 16 cm (6.3 in) and 22 cm (8.7 in). It’s compatible with Android NFC phones and tablets (no iOS support, yet).
They are getting everything together for shipping to the backers and will soon be selling to you, the public. I really like this device, as wearable tech goes, its not amazing, but it does allow you to interact with your phone differently. With the API release im sure we’ll be seeing more stuff down with this device.